219026 Integrating emergency preparedness training and H1N1 vaccine administration: Lessons learned

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 1:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Nancy Edtl, RN BSN MBA , Nursing & Health Services, Anchorage School District, Anchorage, AK
Mark Mew , Director Security and Emergency Preparedness, Anchorage School District, Anchorage, AK
Roberta Cusack, BS, RN , Health Services Coordinator, Anchorage School District, Anchorage, AK
The Anchorage School District (Alaska) received a grant for a district-wide Emergency Preparedness Exercise. As one of the largest districts in the US with 50,000 students in 94 schools, Anchorage is the major state hub. Over the past five years, the district has received grants to help prepare for earthquakes, wildfires and planning. When the H1N1 influenza became a national emergency, the granting agency allowed the district to combine the scheduled preparedness exercise with actual vaccine administration to the high risk group: school-aged children. This resulted in a major community effort with public health agencies and volunteers working with district principals, teachers, administrators and nurses to vaccinate over 20,000 of the 50,000. Planning with state and municipal public health, fire department and police along with just-in-time training for staff and volunteers increased the readiness to handle a major emergency. There were lessons learned on coordination of worker, departments, writing of a district emergency preparedness plan, training, recruiting, partnering, adjusting for shortages of staff, supplies and vaccine, gathering data, tracking and storing vaccine, obtaining parental consent, translating the consents into six languages (Hmong, Tagalog, Spanish, Samoan, Korean, Russian), documenting, and implementing the event over a period of 30 days/six weeks of vaccinating. As a result of the exercise, changes were made to make information more accessible, communication more informative and the flow of work smoother. This exercise helped the district involve all staff plus the community in disaster training and learning the multiple roles to keep students safe.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
List the public health agencies in your area that could be recruited to partner with the school/district for emergency preparedness exercises. Evaluate the ability of your school/district to respond to a public health emergency using community public health resources along with school nurses and staff.

Keywords: Community Participation, School-Based Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I direct and oversee the nursing practice for the Anchorage School Districts nursing staff and worked directly on this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3245.0: Dealing with H1N1